Five SHU Students Appear on Fox News' The Kelly File

News Story: May 6, 2016
From left are Ryan Farrell, Megyn Kelly, Ryan Coghill and Lily DiPaola.

Five Sacred Heart University students recently appeared in a focus group discussing the 2016 Republican presidential candidates on the Fox news show, The Kelly File.

The April 14 program brought together a diverse group of men and women to discuss the candidates and their views. Megyn Kelly, host of The Kelly File, led the lively discussion, asking questions and calling on people in the group to voice their opinions.

“There was a lot of good energy,” said Marguerite Girandola, a sophomore studying communications and political science, who was one of the five SHU participants. “(Kelly) really carried the conversation.”

Girandola said that when she received an email from her political science professor, Gary Rose, chair of the Department of Government, Politics and Global Studies, about the possibility of being on the show, she thought she was being “punked.”

“I’ve been watching Megyn Kelly since she was a correspondent,” Girandola said. “I’ve watched her grow up and become this rock star.” She said she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be on her idol’s show and discuss political history in the making.

Senior Ryan Coghill felt the same way. “I was 100 percent on board,” said Coghill, a marketing major. “I watch Fox News all the time. It was a great opportunity.”

The panel was sectioned into three groups based on which candidate they favored. Four SHU students, including Girandola, sat in the section favoring Ohio Governor John Kasich, while one student sat in the section favoring Donald Trump. None of the five SHU students favored Sen. Ted Cruz.

Kelly called on Coghill, who spoke about Trump and the remarks Cruz made in an interview regarding “New York values.” Afterward, Coghill said he was nervous before the cameras started rolling, but once the discussion started, it was like a “regular conversation.” Like Girandola, he said Kelly was gracious and made everyone feel comfortable.

The conversation did get heated at times, according to both Coghill and Girandola. Coghill said he couldn’t tell if the panelists were truly passionate about what they were discussing or they were putting on an act for the cameras. Either way, he said, everyone was very friendly and united by their interests in the Republican Party.

On the night the show was filmed, the SHU students were picked up at the University for the trip to Fox Studios in New York City. They gathered in the green room before the show, enjoyed snacks and met the other panelists, Girandola said. They also received hair and makeup touch-ups, she said.

“Everyone behind the scenes was very friendly and helpful,” said another SHU panelist, Emily Helldorfer, a sophomore majoring in political science. “I never thought that I would be on a political show, especially while in college. If I ever have the opportunity again, I would definitely do it.” Lily DiPaola ’16 and Ryan Farrell ’17 also attended the taping.

Some of the five students involved in the show were at Rose’s “Great Debate” later that week at the Schine Auditorium. Five students represented each of the remaining candidates in the presidential race: Trump, Cruz and Kasich for the Republican Party, and Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party. The students gave opening and closing statements, and Rose, who moderated the event, asked them questions in between. Later on, the five students had the opportunity to ask each other questions, and questions also came from the audience.

To watch a clip from The Kelly File, click here

The Great Debate 4/20/16